9 developmental benefits of music for children.
Most parents will introduce music very early to their children to calm them or keep them occupied. Children are naturally drawn to music, singing along and dancing to an enjoyable melody. Performing for the family or at school gatherings boosts social skills and self-confidence.
Aside from the fun derived from musical activities, the developmental benefits found in children that have been exposed to or involved in actively learning an instrument from a very young age are noteworthy. As parents want what is best for their child, and considering all the enriching benefits, what better way to help a child‘s progress in an entertaining way?
Accelerate brain development
The University of Southern California Brain and Creativity Institute’s research in a 2016 study determined that music during childhood can speed up the development of the brain with particular benefits shown in the areas of language abilities and reading. Research suggested that the earlier a child is exposed to music, the greater the probability of better skills in these areas.
It was determined that children with musical training demonstrated more accuracy in processing sounds, language development, and perception. The auditory path is the connection between the ear and the brain. The study showed that musical instruction sped the maturation of the auditory path to the brain and improved efficiency in recognizing changes in pitch and melodies.
Motor skills improvement
Music encourages gross and fine movement skills. Because children spontaneously move and dance to music, these spontaneous movements enhance their bending and jumping skills as they grow. Rhythmic movement also contributes to increased muscle development and balance.
Language skills improvement
Exposure to music aids in sound and word recognition. Infants may recognize a particular melody long before they comprehend the text. Children, through the repetition of song lyrics and nursery rhymes, stimulate memorization capabilities, and rhythmic patterns, and learn about various subjects. Creativity, storytelling, and communication skills are enhanced. Children can learn numeracy and improve literacy skills as a result.
Increase self-esteem and self-confidence
For shy children or those kids with confidence problems, music can help. Learning and practicing an instrument can boost self-belief. Furthermore, musical activities, such as singing or playing an instrument in front of others, can increase confidence and self-esteem.
Children with autism are taught with music when traditional teaching falls short as it can be used as a communication tool. As motor and language skills improve, self-confidence and self-esteem follow.
Children as they mature will also begin to express their musical preferences and what they don’t like, so music serves as a method for the development and expression of positives and negatives.
Music is a stimulant of emotions. Joyous or happy music can put us in a good mood while sad music can stimulate crying, reminiscing, or even depression. New parents typically play music in the hopes of calming infants while many soon-to-be mothers may even place headphones on their abdomens when the unborn are particularly active, moving and kicking within.
The use of music for emotion management is highly effective and will aid children in expressing their emotions. This use of music also provides children with reference points for the future. As they mature children will look to music for stimulation and comfort at various moments in their lifetime.
Singing also aids in expressing feelings openly.
Build social skills and teamwork
Growing up brings its share of challenges in adapting socially to various situations. Singing, dancing, or playing instruments together, even if only percussion instruments, encourage group cooperation. Kids learn how to relate to one another and to adults.
As children participate in musical group activities, they unknowingly work toward a common goal. Performing songs, playing in a band or kid’s orchestra, or even participating in a dance class automatically incorporates and reinforces teamwork, especially if working toward a school or church performance. Discipline becomes a tool for achieving objectives and they learn to appreciate enjoying the rewards of teamwork.
As communication and social skills develop, the establishment of relationships and friendships follow—children bond through shared musical experiences of any genre. Lifelong bonds between children can begin to be formed through joint music lessons, choir participation, or dance. Music is also an instrument, when shared between parents and children, that can reinforce family ties and create forever memories.
Music is the product of creative forces at work, and professional musicians are known to be among the most creative people. Whether your child invents melodies or writes lyrics for songs, his or her creativity will be stimulated. Those same creative juices, encouraged and nurtured, may give your child an edge on a different career path later in life.
Develop discipline and patience
Learning an instrument, dancing, or taking singing lessons requires discipline. This type of study requires lots of practice, and a commitment to follow through. These skills can be applied to any profession, so even if your child does not become a professional musician, he or she will be well-served when pursuing goals.
Group musical activities both choral and instrumental require both patience and discipline. Group members wait for the conductor or leader to give a signal to sing or play. Harmony is the objective, and this means every single individual must do their part at the correct moment. Children are exposed to the importance of patience and discipline, their effects on the group, and their contribution to the beauty and the result.
The final note
Music is an essential part of life, regardless of if one actively participates or not. It is everywhere from the television to the internet, to the background music while you shop. Integrating music into a child’s life from a very young age will help his or her development as well as affect your child in a positive way. Consider letting your child try out various instruments and select a beginner model, such as a beginner drum set or child-size violin to begin playing and studying with. It’s never too early to begin, after all, Mozart began composing at age five!